Sunday, June 24, 2018

Silent Sunday 6-24-2018

Have a fabulous day!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Friday Favorites from Smitten Kitchen, Modern Honey, For the Love of Cooking, and more

Good morning! Happy summer and a happy Friday to you. Did you have a good week? My week has been great, I personally am happy to see summer finally arrive. Although I am not a fan of the humidity, it seems like summer has been a long time coming and I am not going to complain I am going to enjoy it for what it is. 

Image Smitten Kitchen

I don't know about you but I do not like to cook in the summer so I am always looking for easy and delicious meals to make. This Cucumber and Watermelon Salad from Smitten Kitchen is a perfect meal on a hot day. 

Image Modern Honey

If you requite something a little more hardy than a salad for dinner this Pork Carnitas from Modern Honey is perfect, and the best part, it's made in a crockpot!

For the Love of Cooking

Lemonade is the perfect drink for summer, add some strawberries and you have this thirst quenching Strawberry Lemonade Slush from For the Love of Cooking

Ice cream lovers, try this easy and delicious Andes Mint Candies Ice Cream.


Wallpaper Image

I love this wall paper from Lulu and Georgia!

Fun things to do in Paris from Classic Casual Home if you have been before and do not want to revisit the major sites. 

For podcast lovers here are a few suggestions that you may or may not have heard about from Joy the Baker

This is a great Program that distributes leftover food to the people that need it instead of throwing it in the trash.

"Your betraying your whole life if you do not say what you are think and you don't say it honestly and bluntly. " Charles Krauthammer

Rest in peace Charles Krauthammer, we have lost a great man. 

Tonight I am going to a dinner party at my Spanish friends, I am a little worried because it starts at 8:00 and could go until 5:00 am! Wish me luck that I can stay up until at least midnight!

What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever you are doing I hope that you have a happy and safe weekend. 

As always, please share your finds form this week, books, recipes, podcasts and more. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Homemade Basil Lemonade

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Good morning! This week has been hot and steamy and by hot I mean 97 F and 108 F with the heat index. It is the kind of weather that you want to take it easy, read a good book and drink copious amounts of refreshing lemonade. After all isn't lemonade the official drink of summer? 

Of course you could make your favorite homemade lemonade, but why not branch out and try something new like basil lemonade, it is a refreshing combination and frankly can even be made into a cocktail with a shot of the vodka of your choice. 

Basil Lemonade


Simple syrup

11/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of water

Place sugar and water into a pan and over medium heat bring to a boil, stirring a bit so that the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside. 

11/2- 13/4  cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice
7-9 cups of water
1 handful of fresh basil

Place 1/2 basil in the bottom of a pitcher, muddle with a muddler to break it up a little and to release the flavor, add the water, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Mix well. At this point you can let it sit for a little while to let the flavors meld or you can pour into glasses and garnish with the other half of the basil and enjoy.  You can make this as tart or as sweet as you would like by adjusting the simple syrup and the lemon juice. I personally like mine a little tart. 

That is it, simple, easy and refreshing.  I hope that you have a wonderful day and happy 1st day summer to you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mediterranean Stuffed Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Post contains affiliate links. 

Good morning! How was your weekend and your Monday? I am having a hard time getting my butt in gear this week. Do you ever have weeks that start like that? What do you do to kickstart your energy?

Summer has finally arrived and it is hot and humid. On days like that I do not like to cook so I am trying to find more things to eat that are not really a lot of effort and are not pasta. Don't get me wrong, I love pasta but I should not be eating it everyday. Yesterday I made this Mediterranean stuffed avocado salad with a lemon vinaigrette and it was easy, delicious and refreshing.  

It is not really a recipe but I will share it with you anyway. 

Mediterranean Stuffed Avocado Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

1 avocado
2-3 oz. mini mozzarella balls
1/3 cup cherrie tomatoes cut in half
1/4 marinated artichoke hearts
1 teaspoon fresh basil chopped
Lemon Vinaigrette

Cut the avocado in half and scoop out a little to make the well a little bigger. In a bowl mix the mozzarella balls, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and the basil. Add a little of the vinaigrette and toss, them arrange into your avocado and enjoy!

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 clove crushed garlic
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried Basil
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a jar and shake until well blended.

If you do not like vinaigrette you could always just drizzle the avocado with balsamic vinegar or oil and vinegar or just a squeeze of lemon. And if you do like vinaigrette this dressing is delicious on any salad that you like!

There you have it, my easy stuffed avocado salad. I think this would be excellent for lunch or a started at a dinner party. You could also add feta cheese,  olives and cucumber for more of a Greek salad. The possibilities are endless.

If you are making a particularly delicious and easy salad lately please share the recipe with us!

Have a great day!

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Friday Favorites Kitchen Sanctuary, Betsey's Life, Shutter Bean, Camille Styles and More

This post contains affiliate links. 

Good morning and a very happy Friday to you. I am so looking forward to a warm summer weekend where I can bask in the sun while sitting on the beach with my feet in the sand or in the ocean while reading my new favorite book. What are your plans?

This weekend is Father's Day, do you have plans to celebrate with your dad? I will unfortunately not be celebrating with my dad this year but I will when I see him in a few weeks. 

Image Kitchen Sanctuary

If I was going to be with my dad I would be making this scrumptious looking Pulled Beef Brisket from Kitchen Sanctuary

Image Here

I would be serving this Bourbon Sage Cooler cocktail. 

And for dessert, my dad loves brownies. I have sent him a few of the brownies that I have made and my dad has stated that he likes plain, fudgy brownies and no frosting or glaze, these Baked Brownies are his favorite. And these Truffle Brownies are a close second.

If you are looking for 10 Unique Father's Day Gifts check out this post from Camille Stylies.

This Pamplona Bag from Moore & Giles is a great gift as well. 

If you would like something a little less expensive but is still very cool perhaps a set of cow hide coasters or a dresser tray from Dunstan & Moles to hold you keys, loose change, etc. 

Image Here


Last week I shared 15 Books on My Summer Reading List, if you have already read through those and need a few more check out this Summer Reading List from Camille Style

And if you still need a few more then this post by Taylor Bradford has additional suggestions. 

And last but not least The New York Time list of 73 Books to Enjoy This Summer


That's it for this week, as always I hope that you share with us any books, podcasts, movies, recipes, articles or whatever else you found interesting. 

Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

20 Things to Do This Summer: My Summer Bucket List 2018

Good morning! How is your week? It has been cool and rainy here and I am little sluggish. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of summer in the South. Although in the past I have lamented the hot, humid days I have to say at this late date I wish we would see more of them because Fall will soon be here. 

Each summer I make a "bucket list" of things I would like to do by the end of summer, this year is no different. This summer one of my goals is to make a conscious effort to SLOW down, turn off my social media and enjoy the moments. 

Here are the 20 things I have on my bucket list this summer. 

1. Make s'mores. 
2. Eat lots, and lots of cherries and peaches. 
3. Watch the fireworks. 
4. Take a road trip. 
5. Get out on my paddle board every weekend, weather permitting. 

6. Long walks on the beach. 
7. Have a picnic. 
8. Visit a National Park. 
9. Go home. 
10. Play croquet. 

11. Have a pillow fight with my nieces' and nephew. 
12. Make homemade ice cream
13. Go berry picking. 
14. Eat cotton candy. 

15. Host a BBQ for my Spanish neighbors. 
16. Go on a spontaneous adventure. 
17. Take a yoga class on the beach. 
18. Take a nap in a hammock. 

19. Go sailing.
20. Watch the lightening bugs. 
21. Last but not least...slow down and enjoy my family and friends. 

What do you have planned for this summer? Did you make a list, if not you should. Just jot a few things down for fun and share them with us!

Have a great day and a wonderful summer. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Elephant in the Room...Depression

Good morning. I hope that you had a great weekend and are having a a good week so far. All is well here but I have to be honest I am shocked and saddened by the passing of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain .

I did not know either of these people except from TV, interviews and books. It seems they both had issues in the past with sucicdal thoughts in the case of Anthony Bourdain(which he mentioned in his books) and in the case of Kate Spade,  high anxiety. Aside from that I saw what everyone else saw, successful people traveling the world, creating great tv and beautiful designs,  and leading a fun, exciting life.  Apparently the reality was a little different than we thought because this past week they both committed suicide.

Today we are bombarded on social media by perfect lives, gorgeous houses, beautiful food, unbelievable adventures, perfectly dressed and fashionable people who are of course  fit and have perfect bodies. Trying to compete with all of that when you are 5-10 pounds overweight, your house is a mess, you lost your job, your kids are sick, you love sugar and hate to exercise can get anyone down.  Couple this with the negative news 24 hours a day about the economy, wars, school shootings, and its enough to make you jump in bed, pull the covers over your head and never get up.

Everyone has sad and bad days here and there and then there are those that suffer from chronic depression(clinical), bi-polar and other mental illnesses, the elephant in the room, the taboo subject.

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which mental illness is a subject that many do not want to acknowledge or talk about. Sometimes those that suffer from it feel as if they cannot talk about it because people won't listen or they will tell them to just "pick themselves up by their bootstraps and snap out of it." Other times people that do not understand it don't believe that it is an illness as serious as cancer and just as deadly.

There is help for those that battle mental illness but they need treatment, from a doctor, a therapist, sometimes medication and they need the support of family and friends. If you know someone that is suffering please help them get the help they need especially if they are talking about suicide.

I have witnessed first hand what mental illness and suicide can do to a family and it is heartbreaking. For many years my aunt who was diagnosed as bi-polar suffered, and then after many ups and downs she took her life by walking in front of a train. To say that the family was devastated does not even begin to describe the pain of those she left behind which included a husband, two sones and two young grandsons. I miss her, her kindness, smile, laugh, love of music and the love and pride she had for her sons.

As I said at the beginning of this post I am saddened by the loss of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and my heart breaks for their families, especially their two young daughters. I just hope that the conversation started by their deaths continues and that it is finally ok to talk about depression, suicide and whatever else you are feeling and to know that someone is listening and is willing to help.

If you know someone who suffers from depression and are concerned they may be contemplating suicide here are the warning signs.

If you are suffering from depression please reach out, to your doctor, pastor, family or call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-8255.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Silent Sunday 6-10-2018

I hope that you have a great day!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Friday Favorites from Cindy Hattersley, 5th and State, House of Harper, Code de Texas, Cosy Little House and More

Good morning! A beautiful and happy Friday to you! I hope that you had a great week. I am back from my first trip to Austin and the Texas Hill Country where I ate a lot of bbq, sadly not enough tacos, visited vineyards, hiked and spent a lot of time with friends. Now I need a rest and to catch up on things at home.

Image here

I love pizza! I love it so much if I could I would eat it at least once a week, sadly my husband does not feel the same. Don't get me wrong he likes it but it is definitely not his default meal. Thankfully I have discovered grilled pizza and I think I might just be able to persuade him that grilling a pizza is just as good as a steak. 

For those of you who prefer something a little more light this Blueberry Broccoli Salad looks delicious. 

Sparkling Peach Sangria

In the summer I like to enjoy a fruity cocktail while sitting in the sun reading my latest book before dinner. I think I am going to make this Sparking Peach Sangria from Real House Moms this weekend. 

As you know I love to bake but sometimes in the summer I do not like to turn on the oven so this Bailey's Chocolate Mouse is perfect! 

Yesterday I posted 15 Books from My Summer Reading List, if you would like a few more suggestions check out these posts:

I am in love with this beautiful garden which happens to be the front garden of the multi-talented blogger and designer Cindy Hattersley. Cindy moved to this 10 acre property almost 30 years ago and she mentioned in a prior post that there was not one tree on the land. It is amazing what time, trial and error and dedication can do to transform a space.

I love hydrangeas and if you do as well you will definitely enjoy this post from 5th and State about the 5 different varieties and all of their specifics.

Taste of France posted a secret garden she discovered in her town recently.

Image Cote de Texas

If you have plans to travel to London than this post by Joni at Cote de Texas is for you, it is filled with fabulous places that you can rent. If London is not in your near future take a look anyway because each and every place is a feast for the eyes whether you like modern or traditional decor.

Here is some Great Advice for the Graduate in your life. 

This post by Brenda of Cosy Little  House is very powerful and could help someone that you know. 

This week while traveling I watched three movies that have been on my list and I loved them all!

The Man Who Invented Christmas about Charles Dickens and The Christmas Carol. 

Goodbye Christopher Robin, the story of Winnie the Pooh and the real Christopher Robin. 

Phantom Thread, anything with Daniel Day Lewis is always great. 

I hope that you found something interesting here today, as always please share your finds, books, recipes, movies, podcasts or whatever you think we might find enjoyable.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

15 Books on My Summer Reading List

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Good morning. I hope that your week is going well and that you are seeing some signs of summer. Here the rain finally stopped and the sun is out but the temperatures are about 15-20 degrees below normal. Not that I am complaining as I am happy to have cool evenings and low humidity for as long as possible.

Summer and reading are synonymous in my world. From the time I was little, the minute school was out for the summer I was traipsing back and forth to the library with my siblings to get our piles of books each week. Now a days I spend long days enjoying good books while sitting on the beach with the sand between my toes or sipping lemonade on the porch or flying on a plane. Although I have many books on my list to read this summer I thought I would share 15 with you, some are already available and some will be out later this summer. 

15 Books on My Summer Reading List:

1. Among the Lemon Trees by Nadia Marks
2. Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
3. The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
6. When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
7. Love and Ruin by Paula McLain
8. The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jo Joy Moyers
10. By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank
11. How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
12. The Ensemble by Aja Gabel
13. The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
14. The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

Do you have a summer reading list? Or a book that you return too over and over? If so, please share it with us, I love hearing about peoples favorite books and learning about new ones. 

I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Other books I love. 

Linking to:

Imparting Grace
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